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I am untrained singer imitating opera here trying to learn breathing..

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MidiBro
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My favorite sort of music is broadway. I understand many of these singers use classical techniques to get their power and resonance. Thus, I have been trying to imitate opera.

I have no teacher, but I have found that breathing is exceptionally important but I have no idea how to breathe. I've found through trial and error in order to get an operatic sound I have to tense my stomach and chest and and ribcage to such a large and outstretched position that it hurts and is even harder than any weight lifting I've ever done. Its impossible for me to sustain this "support" (if that is what it is) for more than super short notes.

I have recorded a short clip of some jibberish:

http://vocaroo.com/i/s15WwsrSWrrn

I went off tune badly at the end, partially because I didn't know what chord I was going to resolve to. However, I was also losing my breath anyway.

I am wondering if you believe I am breathing correctly here and its just a matter of strengthening breathing muscles until I can sustain this same pressure/power over long notes (I AM VERY FAR AWAY then) or if I am overpressuring my voice (making too big of a voice to handle). I seem to have a general issue with tone consistency and cords not closing when I'm not faking opera so I think I must be doing something right here (but also something wrong).

All this voice stuff is so confusing :(:(

Thanks

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It sounds good but you shouldn't have to tense your breathing muscles that much. Singing should never be as difficult as weightlifting. I don't sing opera but I haven't heard anyone talk about its support technique being so outrageously hard. It is physical for sure but not THAT physical. There are some good things here though in terms of the sonic result so see if you can try to produce that same sound in an easier way.

Ultimately you really should find a vocal teacher though. If not locally you could do Skype lessons with a teacher that offers them. But most singers never get over the confusion if they try to learn singing entirely on their own. I've tried it and the results were horrible, if anything they made my voice worse. I wouldn't recommend it...actually training with a teacher brings much better results and helps you understand how to practice better.

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When you inhale, allow the inhale by relaxing the abs. When you sing, control the exhale by not pushing all the air out at once. Slow down the release, sometimes this means some tension in the abs. Keeping the chest expanded is more about not compressing with the chest than arbitrarily trying to hold it out, though the "noble" posture does help that.

But it sounds like you have the right covered tone for some opera.

Depends on how serious you are about opera. If you plan on really singing opera, you will have to have a recognized opera coach, it is simply not done without one, that is the way of that world.

As for Broadway, classical technique could still help you. Like Owen said, if you cannot find a coach in your area, you can get lessons by way of Skype, if you have the means. Point being, someone needs to physically see you, preferrably in the same room as you, especially to hear you acoustically. Your upper notes might be loud enough in a live performance but sound like less in what I assume was a cellphone recording across a room.

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